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February 21, 2011


Holly R. Moore

Wow, these are beautiful books. And you are totally right. I get the best satisfaction out of using my best stuff. And I always fall in love with the project and especially the process.


I love all of your good stuff...would truly love to win some of the good stuff....it always makes the project very special....sometimes it is hard to decide what to use!


Diane Knott

Karla, what a wonderful idea! That "best stuff" just sitting in a box isn't doing us any good at all is it! And do we ever really look at it? Probably not. Unless we take it out and put it in a bowl or plate for display. So why not make something special out of it and then....if it's too expensive an item used as a "best one" to sell and get your money back....you had the right idea....give it as a gift to someone special. I try to find the best things for the most reasonable price too. Am currently looking for things with rhinestones and not so easy anymore to find them for $1 or less is it!
Loved looking at all of your "Besties". So pretty!

Hugs, Diane


You always have beautiful stuff and I would love to win some because I am just beginning my collection of vintage stuff to use in collages. Even better is how you put your supplies together to make the most beautiful things! These books are gorgeous!

Charlotte Smothers

Your words on this post ring so very true for me, too. Revealing your (he)art process is a gift in itself, Karla. I've decided to use my besties for a Mom's day gift to my mom. That way I can have an special experience for myself and I know my mom will treasure it. Thanks for offering us this challenge.

My Blessed Serendipity Life

Sometimes I fret about using up all the "good stuff" because then it will be gone, but something else always seems to come along. Glad you went for it. You do make some gorgeous things.


Janet Ghio

Beautiful things you're making Karla. i would love to win some of your good stuff. I've started using my good stuff--what's the point of it sitting in a box or a drawer?? I wish I could get my hands on some wall paper books--it's almost impossible to get them here-there are long waiting lists at the decorators and paint stores here.

Christa from Chloe Rose

I would love to win a packet of good stuff from you! Great post about using your besties.....I'll have to think about that when I sit down to create :).

Thespoena McLaughlin

Oh but it's soooo hard to let go of the besties sometimes. Even though I buy them for the purpose of using them in artwork I find that when it comes down to it they often sit in my pretty little aged jewelry boxes for me to dig through once in a while. I'm taking this challenge and running with it. Thanks Karla!


Very "good" thoughts indeed!


Would I love to win a packet of your goodies? Would I love to win the lottery? Would I love to be relaxing somewhere warm right now instead of sitting in my office eating lunch in front of my computer? Yes, yes, yes!!!


Karla, they looks gorgeus, your books- love the special jewlery you used in one of them!
and yes I also, alwayes count, if this can go there for selling to that special price and so on....and I certainly does not get any payment for the time used- just like you tell-- but I could not want any other job :)
I will LOVE to win one of your very special good stuff supplies packet.


i'm always amazed at what I find when I start cleaning my studio space...precious things tucked here and there, piled up in a silver dish, hidden in a jammed-full box, all being saved for "some day". Your posts are making me think twice about my "hoard". But it would be great to add to my hoard by winning your giveaway!


I love that little keyhole, and all of your books and tags are so pretty.

We are similar in the way that we both think of the "good stuff" as the materials that aren't easily replaced, like the perfectly faded vintage fabric, or the one of a kind item, but like you, I also know that anytime I choose to use things, the article I'm creating is "elevated" to a a level that makes me happier with how it has turned out.

I'm so looking forward to challenging myself with this idea. Unfortunately, I've caught a horrible bug, and can't gather what I want for my share of the give-away today, as it requires a bit of shopping, but hopefully, in the next couple of days, I will.

Lisa Johns

Well, you are SO right. Really-what good is it, if we can't use it to make others smile.
Lisa Johns ;)


Hi Karla - totally agree though it took me awhile to admit I could "let go". I get a great deal of pleasure hearing from others how much they love things I've made and they've recieved that has that extra "something". Count me in! Jewels


Your books are so pretty Katla with all the details. I totally agree about the process - that´s what makes it so much fun, and if someone else likes it too, that´s just great.

Kris Pare

I definitely love the process; my best finds are usually tucked away until one day I 'see' the art to make. I definitely love the idea of the challenge and would like to join! The velvet flower just makes me think of who was wearing that previously--just gorgeous details from the makers then. Take care, Kris


Boy, am I glad I saw this post. You address something I am guilty of -- hoarding my "best" because I'm too afraid to use it on a silly this or that. I have a rule with things at home -- use the good crystal or china. If it breaks, at least it broke with love and not tipping over in the china cabinet. I really need to move that way in my creative life, too. Thanks for the nudge. Just what I needed.


Lovely. I have trouble using "besties" because I feel like I have too few of them. However as of yesterday, my small tin of rhinestones and fake pearls is full, so I'm going to have to use them on something soon :)

Olivia Parazine

Oh girl, beautiful goodies! Hook me up! Love it all!

Jill at buckscountyfolkart.blogspot.com

I totally agree about it's all in the progress. Most of what I sell just goes right back for materials. Basically, I sell to support my love! If I didn't sell, I'd STILL be creating anyway. So, it's all a win-win situation!



It is all about the process! I love your "good" stuff!!

Robin Sanchez

Karla I just love vintage wallpaper & rhinestones. Your work is always so beautiful. We all have so many things that we just cant bring ourselves to use. But if you do use your best stuff...you can go buy some more best stuff that is even better!!!


Sheila R

So very true... if you work with the best things that you can purchase you feel like you are an artist and enjoy the process so much more.


time to use the best stuff...love it :)


Hi Karla,

I think this is a real problem for a lot of us who are creative. I know I have little things I have carried around for years and years from house to house waiting for the right project, and of course, is it worthy of "using up" something that is one of a kind and most likely not replaceable? Even when I give someone a gift, I have found myself thinking, is this person "worthy" of this great stuff, or would they appreciate it the way I do? That doesn't really sound very nice, but that is the thought that goes through my head. Even when I have some really great wrapping paper, I stop and think, now, would this person even notice this wonderful wrapping or just RIP it off and throw it away? Lots to think about in this area.... Thanks for the conversation, and Oh, I would love to have some of your "good stuff". I promise I will give it the honor it is due. ;) Linda


You're so right about how having those precious beauties tucked safely away isn't really a way to enjoy them... But then again, they're tucked safely away JUST IN CASE... Oh it's so hard sometimes to actually use it!

Holly R. Moore

Karla, I am honored that you visited my blog and I wanted to come back and say thank you for your comment. You just made my day, as you are one of my favorite gals to follow. :)

I wanted to share a link with you of a project I recently made using my best stuff. I completely fell in love with it, and so loved your post about using our "besties."


Thanks again for taking the time. Yours, Holly


Gorgeous, as always Karla. I was told the other day that it's good feng shui to get rid of the clutter. You can't receive new and wonderful things into your life if there's no room. So - as soon as I stop hyperventilating (breathing in this paper bag seems to help) I'll get on with using the good stuff. I will. Baby steps...itty bitty..baby steps. pant, pant...



lovely Besties..interesting philosophy regarding creative use of special supplies..love the keyhole..


These little books are beautiful! You have GREAT stuff!


I really understand what you are saying about saving the good stuff. I have more than I could probably use in my lifetime, but still cringe in cutting up a vintage piece of fabric for artwork. Well, I've been pondering doing more of that and using the best pieces of lace, ribbons, buttons and all those other goodies I've been keeping. Your blog entry came at just the right time to inspire me to follow through.

Please enter my name into your drawing. I'd love to win some of your goodies - and I vow to use them!


I love your beautiful creations Karla! Well done. Now please throw yet another entry for me into that beautiful vintage flower covered hat! LOL!



I thought about all the "good stuff" I have stashed away, after your last post regarding this, and I decided that perhaps I could just about bring myself to make something with the most treasured things, instead of just fondling them and admiring them. But then......... I would have to keep the finished article for myself anyway, lol, I wouldn't be able to sell it. No way would I be able to part with it, unless perhaps it were a gift for a very dear friend.
Its a question of getting attached to stuff, silly, I know. When I was scouring the French vide greniers in the days when I was selling lots on Ebay, I knew I was buying things to sell on, so I didn't get attached to them, and it was no big deal to let go of even the nicest, prettiest, most wonderful things. But when I don't have that in mind, then I get attached to these little treasures and the hoarder gene kicks in, lol.
Having said all that, I AM going to take a few things I have picked up before to make things with, and put down again because I didn't want to part with them, and this time I WILL make something. We'll cross the parting-with-it bridge when we come to it, lol.
Geez, rambling or what??? And I totally forgot to say that the books are just gorgeous, I love all the good stuff you have used.

Vick Cotnoir

Always use the best stuff for your art,truer words were never said! I did a drawing for art class,sadly on Newsprint,I believe it was one of my best works! Having used Newsprint,it will not live a long and storied life!

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I loved reading your thoughts about this subject. I sure have been in the same dilemma. And after figuring out wich goodies to use, what price should I put on the things to sell. I'm going to restart my etsy shop soon and has been thinking very hard about this putting the price on something. I will use old stuff, bought on thrift stores mixed with something new,and I put my work on it. It is difficult. Should i put a low price on it because the things I used was cheap or should I put a higher price considering the quality. Difficult.... Wishing you a lovely and creative week /Therese

Zita - Mlle Magpie

OMG, I just love all of your good stuff, Karla! Right now I really need to clean up and organize my studio space as I can't really find my stuff very well (can barely walk in the door :)


I did a little post about your linky party...ahem! and about my NOT being a hoarder! ahem!
I have worked with preschoolers for many years and there is a saying "It's the process not the product" In otherwords, the children love making the art and it is about them actually doing it and enjoying it, not that it is perfect for the parents. It is their work not ours.
I am always peeved when teachers want the children to copy their sample perfectly and correct the child's work.
I pulled out my good stuff...now I need to start creating!
hugs! karen....


Hi Karla! It is so hard to use the best stuff! I will try to... it shouldn't be too hard for me since I don't sell my art yet. At this point I keep it all, so even if I use it, I still get to look at it! :) Or I will use it on artwork for my mama because I know she will appreciate it. Also, I love to just see it all, a huge jar full of lace or millinery or rhinestone buttons!!! If it were all easier to find and a lot cheaper, I wouldn't mind using it so much.

Marilyn Krehbiel

Hi Karla, I love the things that you have created and even recognize some of the wallpaper. :) My experience has been, when I let go of the good stuff, more good stuff is found, and it is the hunt for more "besties" that is motivating. Love your Blog. Thank you as always for bringing the girls to "Wallpaper Heaven".

Kimberly Budash

Please include me in the drawing, I would love to win some of your "best stuff" to add to my "best stuff" to create something special.

Thanks for the chance to win!!


You know, I've been mulling that "using the good stuff" over in my head ever since you wrote that statement in your February 19th post. How many times have I come across something fabulous at a yard sale for super cheap, only to be told "my mother loved that and was saving it for something special." Hmmm everyday you live is "special" Thanks for reminding me to use the good stuff. I'd hate to think of MY "good stuff" being sold for pennies when I kick the bucket. (my bucket is going to be shabby chic with some vintage baby blue velvet ribbon dangling from the handle-- filled with beautiful white daisies~)
Chaste hugs & air kisses~


just stumbled onto your blog! Beautiful!

Debbie McReynolds

Karla everything you create as an artist inspires me. Meeting you at Miss Frenchie's in December of 2009 launched me on the path of becoming a "Scrappy Girl". I love tags, cards and altered books etc. I now have my own Project Room that I share with my girlfriends.

I would love to be able to use and share some of your "Best Things" in my room.

Hugs to you.


Tiffany Steers

I adore all the "good stuff"!!! Put my name in the drawing, pretty please! Love your blog


"Sometimes it seems like we artists tend to work for the cost of materials. Our time isn't always covered in the price of what we sell. But when the creations are from the heart, it just feels so good to have someone care enough to buy them, that we just keep on cranking the stuff out...

..... as artists, it's often not what we get out of selling the piece we've created, it's just the process itself of making it that counts. So, why not treat ourselves to making our art with the best possible stuff we can?

I take a lot of joy in using beautiful and special materials. It elevates not only my artwork, but the process itself. It makes me happy to play with pretties. What a great job I have!

I may never be rich, but I sure do like what I do for a living!!!"

Karla, That quote resonated with me so much. Brought tears to my eyes. I NEEDED that just NOW! I live in California and have had no snow at my house, but because of several personal problems that have occured since January,leaving me rattled and shut down..I now feel like I am just beginning to 'thaw out'. Wanting to start creating again. And doing it for the love of it, and yes, using the 'Good Stuff'!!
This was an excellent post, coming at the perfect time for me...THANK YOU!!
Love and Hugs,

Terri Gordon

Hi Karla, What a wonderful giveaway, I love to visit your beautiful blog, you always have such beautiful projects. I love your beautiful work. I love vintage things, thank you for the opportunity to win. Have a wonderful week. Terri


Too funny - I just used the end of my vintage velvet pink ribbon last night. I was sad to see the end of the spool, but the projects looks fab!

Wanda @ Just Vintage

I have a problem using the good stuff. I'm always afraid I'll regret using it in that particular project and want to use it in something else later. I also have a problem gluing things in permanently. Like I'll never run across something like that ever again. As a consequence, I have gobs of "good stuff" waiting for the perfect project. Thanks for the encouraging words!

Susan Reaney

Those are so beautiful. I see so many things that make me drool...the little violets, that perfect pink bow from the curtains, the two rows of sparkies on one piece. You did use the good stuff. My turn. Better get with it!!!

The Polka Dot Closet

This was a fabulous post and ooohhhhh so true, I hate using the good stuff! I just have to! The only thing is making sure it is worthy. I thought maybe I was the only one that felt like this!



So lovely!

Nancy Wethington

Karla, I love this post. I'm always fretting over *should I use it or should I save it* - and save for what? This year, I'm trying to use my favorite things and hopefully it will make my art better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


How wonderful are your besties! Love each and every one - you are always so inspiring.

Thank You!


These are all sooo stunning! I know what you mean about holding on to things that we buy for the purpose of using!

Curtains In My tree

I am sooooo glad to read that I am not alone in hoarding the good stuff in specail little boxes marked , fancy rhinestone pins, vinatge old velet ribbon, cotton lace ribbon, buttons 1930's, Ruth's wedding buttons 1920.On and On I have 4 chest of drawers full and jar after jar box after box.

I just love all my specail finds and don't use the best on my projects. I take that back I made a valentine card for someone I met In Savannah Georgia last year and I used some of my best rhinestone pins on her card I made a tiara out od a fabulous round pin and the back of my oldest pretties cigar box lid.

There I let go of some of my stash on a special project(proud of myself)


Stacy McGinnis

Wow, I feel like I need to go use up some of the good stuff right now! Great post. Can't wait to see you next month. :) :)

Mitzi Curi

Karla, you and Beth have my number exactly when it comes to supply hoarding and not using the good stuff! I'm going to try to participate in your link party if I can persuade my own hands to craft with my coveted bits and bobs. BTW, I put my goodie bag stuff on the back burner and will get the yoyos ready for shipping this weekend. Sorry about the delay.


I know I'm a day late & a dollar short but I had to tell you I love this post! You should file it under that blogger thing 'favorite posts'.
I so agree with this. For me I am more inspired to create something really special if I'm using the good stuff. Copies & scrapbook supplies don't put me into a creative frame of mind. Of course those things have their place, when I'm making a cool tag or something from Tim Holtz or One Lucky Day. But if I'm trying to really make something totally 'mine' & unique then it's the good stuff I reach for.
I'm playing on March 6! Lisa

Robin Carr

All of the stuff is so pretty. I do the same thing but plan to use the good stuff soon. It is hard when it is stuff that is old and I will never have again but as my friend Arianne always says about giving stuff away, "Think how happy this will make someone else!" I love to make beautiful stuff that will make someone else very happy!

Wanda Contreras

Dear Karla,
I LOVE all your creations... I agree with you that we should use THE good stuff... If we don't take the pleasure of using and creating with them, somebody else will do. Let enjoy what we have a don't hoarder them to collect dust.
best regards,


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About Karla Nathan

Creating Art Journals

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